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Stereotyped at seven? Biases in teacher judgement of pupils' ability and attainment

Campbell, Tammy (2015) Stereotyped at seven? Biases in teacher judgement of pupils' ability and attainment. Journal of Social Policy, 44 (3). 517 - 547. ISSN 0047-2794

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Identification Number: 10.1017/S0047279415000227


There is evidence that teacher judgements and assessments of primary school pupils can be systematically biased. This paper tests the proposal that stereotyping plays a part in creating these judgement inequalities and is instrumental in achievement variation according to income-level, gender, special educational needs status, ethnicity and spoken language. Using 2008 data for almost 5,000 pupils from the Millennium Cohort Study, it demonstrates biases in teachers’ average ratings of sample pupils’ reading and maths ‘ability and attainment’ which correspond to every one of these key characteristics. Findings go on to suggest that stereotypes according to each of income-level, gender, special educational needs status and ethnicity all play some part in forming these biases. The paper strengthens the evidence that stereotyping of pupils may contribute to assessment and thereby attainment inequalities, and concludes that an increased focus on tackling this process may lead to greater parity and a narrowing of gaps.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2015 Cambridge University Press
Divisions: Social Policy
Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Date Deposited: 06 Dec 2019 14:09
Last Modified: 15 Sep 2023 16:20

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